Boost Your Writing with Reading

I admit it. I’m a book person. (Yearbooks in school started my publishing journey. Then working in corporate book publishing for ~20 years. Then freelancing for a variety of publishers, ghostwriting books, marketing books, writing press releases for books, helping people with web sites about books, coaching people about their books… Finally focusing on creating my own books. And all the while reading and buying still more books. Maybe lightening my load soon when I get my new iPad. We’ll see…)

In fact, I may be a book-a-holic. Yes. There it is. Out there in public. One of my “drugs of choice” is books. My husband despairs of my book piles that threaten to topple over. Our house my not really be sturdy enough to house my existing library. (Clued in about this by those funny cracks that seem to keep appearing…)

During my childhood, summer was a time to fall deeply into books. I’ve also been an avid re-reader, revisiting stories that resonated with me time and again.  “So many books, so little time,” is a phrase that was tailor made for me. How about you?

Simultaneously to reading comes the writing. Or vice versa. In fact, there are real synergies that grow in a process of reading and writing.  Each one feeds off the other.

Many people are interested in bringing more ease and authenticity into their writing. They long to be purposeful with their messages about their businesses and projects and creations and ventures. One of the ways to find your authentic voice is to practice writing, ideally in a public sphere like this blogging challenge, where you will be able to tap into a zeitgeist and community of like-minded others and to receive feedback.  You’ll be both reader and writer here.

In addition to writing, reading can be a powerful way to embrace and test your writing. One summer, I went through the letters of Virginia Woolf — volume after volume. Yes, that summer my friends from college received letters from me that unconsciously picked up the tone and flavor of VW’s letters. You can’t help but learn from your reading. It’s what nourishes your soul and heart and voice and mind.

So I want to acknowledge and thank the folks at Flashlight Worthy Books on Twitter as  @flwbooks for sharing this link. It inspired my blog post (as books are wont to do) and offers windows to “see with fresh eyes” in ways to rethink and revisit your own writing process.

7 Great Titles for a Writer Digging for Inspiration

And welcome to the second 30 day blogging challenge for 2010. Follow the fun on Twitter at #blog30.

Author: Bobbye

Bobbye Middendorf, MA, partners with evolutionaries as mystic-catalyst, healer, and poet -- evoking experiences of hope, self-grounding, self-trust, resilience, and joy. Spoken Word Alchemy opens portals for Yin Arising via mentoring; she offers inner wisdom guidance and word altars. With WayMakers, this award-winning wordsmith regenerates their clarity and expansive expression to live life as a work of art.

12 thoughts on “Boost Your Writing with Reading”

  1. My mind is wandering back over 50 years ago…there were two books that I’ll never forget. One was “The Pink Maple House,” and the other was “Half-Magic.”
    I wonder if they’re still in print? I”ll have to go to Google and see….

    1. I know I’ve seen Half Magic while my kids were growing up. I’m guessing it will be available, even if in the used book arena. I’ve never heard of the Maple book. Good luck! Hope you find your great reading!

  2. Bobbye ~

    There’s nothing more enjoyable than a good book. I was also an avid reader as a child. One summer I read an entire collection of Nancy Drew Mysteries. Even just mentioning it now draws me back to those moments of sitting on the milkbox on my parent’s back porch. That was my sacred reading spot – serene with a nice view of a huge silver maple tree.

    Still lovin’ your posts!

    1. Nancy Drew mysteries were among my favorites. I read several so many times I broke the bindings. Maybe we should include occasional “summer reading” posts within the challenge and after. As I mentioned once, we can gain wisdom from unexpected places (like mysteries, etc.). Thanks Melanie, I treasure your support.

  3. Ahhh…Bobbye, it’s so good to be back in the saddle, so to speak. Where I can visit you and know you’ll visit me, and we can continue to appreciate all the new friends we make here online. I think we’ve discussed before how much alike we are in that we’re grade A bookworms. Our houses merely exist to house our books, and our brains are just giant hard drives to store all the words we collect. Summertime for me as a child was also a time for long walks to the library with a shopping bag to tote the books home. My flashlights needed a lot of batteries. Reading and writing just flat out make me happy! (as they say in the South!)

  4. Bobbye:
    I liked your perspective on improving one’s writing authenticity via frequency of practice such as this 30 day challenge allows. I’m finding that it allows my creativity to flow easily, rather than have to be scripted (which so often happens with writing less frequently.

    1. Mynders,
      It really does make a difference. Mindful writing practices build positive habits like weightlifting builds muscles.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi Bobbye,

    Interesting article – I am the opposite, I totally do not like reading (you can probably find a post on my blog where I talk about reading addicts and not understanding them LOL). But I’m finding that a lot of reading comes naturally now that I’m doing so much writing!! So, I’m definitely boosting my reading with writing!!

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

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